Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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06/01/2013 at 17:43

Nice HM-ing from Dids and DanA.  I've considered your questions carefully Dids: I only wear black socks for cross-country (the mud doesn't show as much), so yes, fashion crime

Nice XC-ing from Speedy and congrats on the County vest; I doubt I will get one for the combined Avon & Somerset team because (a) ours is at the selectors' discretion and (b) I think I was 9th Avon at the XC Champs in December, so unless everyone from Somerset is v. poor at running (sadly not the case) I won't get the nod.  Heigh-ho.

Surprisingly good day at the SW Inter-Counties XC for me.  Legs felt rubbish for the first 2 miles of my 4 mile warm up but seemed to loosen towards the end and then had a surprisingly good run, finishing 15th overall (it's a fairly loose comparison but I was 19th the last time I ran there in 2008) and 3rd team scorer.  We won the team prize as well, and I think that's the first time I've actually been a scorer for a winning team - I'm usually frustratingly the first non-scorer!  All in all, pretty pleased with where I am now.  Just need to keep it together to the end of April

06/01/2013 at 17:47

Good performances in the HMs LD and Dan so we can end the argument about mileage now that it's been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that high mileage works...

Black socks - if they came up higher than your trainers then they're not cool.

Good XC efforts from Speedy and AW and some good long runs from Andy D, CL, Blisters, TR and Toro.

County XC champs for me too yesterday and I had a decent run, 21st overall and in the top 10 old blokes.  Up early for 20miles offroad this morning which gave me 86 miles for the week so I think I'm over the vomiting bug now.  This week should be more of the same with another XC race on Saturday.

Hope Charlie and anyone else racing today got on well.

06/01/2013 at 17:50

x-post - So your race wasn't bad then CW, especially with the niggle.

Well done Jools, you're on good form at the moment.

06/01/2013 at 18:17
Oh Blisters, my experiment is full of holes - I have averaged 80 mpw (consistent too) for the last 7 weeks since doing and then recovering from the Athens marathon. (Which was a 2.58 run - I wasn't very fit).

A few weeks prior to Athens I did the Congleton half in 1.25. However, the big confession is that whilst I had averaged about 45 miles for the 10 weeks prior to Congleton it was a lot of zeroes and a lot of 100s that made up the average! Oops. Does that count? Doubt it.

The only thing I can really say is that apart from only 4 races in the last 9 months I have done diddly squat in terms of interval or tempo training. The fitness I have today is very very largely down to mileage alone... But then again I have done a lot of miles just above MP in that recently. No change in weight.

Go back a few years ago though and years of shorter, faster stuff (say 45/50 mpw) only got me to about 1:25 for a half on my younger legs.

So, the general comparison from years ago etc, I think, supports what I was arguing.

For what it's worth, I now expect some good hill training to get me close to a HM pb, and then interval training to get me to a pb in London!
06/01/2013 at 18:18

seems to be a very busy weekend of XC'ing  Nice results from Speedy, CW (it sounded fast despite what you thought!) and Jools, well done to AW too!

Dan - That's a great sounding race, top marks for showing all the Scandinavians how to do it in shorts! On a separate note, I got a very nice silver/black Xempo top for my birthday yesterday  cheers!

LD - good HM today, upped mileage seems to be paying off then

I had a decent run at the Hants county XC champs yesterday, left ITB felt tight but not sore, so did a couple of miles warmup and plenty of dynamic stretching and it was ok. Course was a 2 1/2 laps (12km) around an old golf course, very slippery and with a couple of decent hills in it. Took my new Inov8 X-talons for a spin and was very pleased with them, didn't have any traction issues whilst most others around me were in spikes. Finished in 36th overall (29th Snr male) in 45:13. Had a good fight with runner from Totton RC all the way round. I had the measure of him on every climb, but he managed to claw back the lost ground on the flat and put a surge on in the last mile to drop me by 20yds or so, all good fun though  A certain celebrity chef who runs for Winchester had a very good race too (8th and 2nd MV40)...

Did a very gentle 5k with my Dad this morning and the ITB was a bit sore, so it's back on the roller again....



06/01/2013 at 19:08

well done on the County XCs, never appeals to me, I came 4th once so coming 1000th has no appeal for me now.

nice to see OO

Dids - nice one, I think that description of a v45 fits me, but I reckon I could have kept up with you for a while.

Jools - thankfully you hadnt tapered quite as much as usual ! Nice one.

Edited: 06/01/2013 at 19:13
06/01/2013 at 20:18
Opps very delayed x-post with LJ (I got distracted while writing post! earlier...), nice County XC result mate!

LD - interesting background on your mileage/training types, isn't running 'just above MP' classed as steady-state running (by Greg Mcmillian I think) and meant to be very good for stamina?
06/01/2013 at 22:08

Well my long run today didn't exactly go to plan... To cut a long story short, I was on a new route and I got lost... So what started out as a planned 2-hour run turned into 2h40 and 20 miles! That' an average of 7:49 min/mile to save you getting your calculators out! Up until today I'd never run beyond 14M, believe it or not.

So, what have I learned from today? Well, I can run 20M . At the end I still felt I could have carried on so at least I am confident I will be able to finish my debut marathon, even if it's not sub-3. I have no sense of direction, but then I kind of knew that already to be honest... Runner I may be, orienteer I am not! My training plan is out the window, I was supposed to build up to 20M, not run it on the first weekend! 20M is tiring... I crawled into bed after eating and showering and fell straight to sleep for 2 hours... Sound familiar CW?

Let's see how I feel tomorrow, that will give me an idea of what 20M has done to me... I do have one question for you guys though... Since I've now run 20M in week 1/16 of my training, should I drop back the long run mileage and then build back up again as per original plan, or might I just as well keep banging out 20M for a few weeks and then go up to 22M or 24M for a couple of runs closer to the marathon date?

06/01/2013 at 22:43
ES - Nice one. I'd say what you do next week depends on your recovery time. If you take a rest day tomorrow but are ok on Tues you may be fine to carry on with 20's. If however it takes you 2-3 days to recover it might be worth scaling back a bit and building up from 17 or so.
Blisters    pirate
06/01/2013 at 22:43

ES, your story about getting lost made me smile. Last time I did that was in Italy, about 28 degrees and no water. Since then I bought a Garmin FR305 which has a "get me home" feature. Regards the mileage issue, the 20 was clearly a big outing. There will be varying advice, but you will know what's best. The total mileage per week is important in weeks 1-4, in order to get plenty in, you are likely (bizarrely) to need to ease back in both pace and distance tomorrow. Increase the weekly tally and the big runs gradually. The 20 is a confidence boost, the pace is just fine. If you wish to increase you long run to 24 as a confidence booster that's up to you, but if you get the miles into your legs the last 3 or 4 are just the same as having an extended warm up.
Did you know that most runners typically have 5 routes, at the most, that they regularly run. Personally, I have 7 mile, 9 mile, and 21 mile, with the 11-15 miler being a lash up between them. Get your rat-runs sorted and run them lots.

CW, thanks for your concerns. I did twig that I was in need of sugar/food/fuel at the time. Since arriving home I ate for England. I estimated a 7000 calorie burn in those 2 sessions. The legs have eased up impressively today, I only swam tonight.

06/01/2013 at 22:48
That's a big confidence boost ES. Feeling so tired is normal but if that continues into the week ahead, it might suggest easing back to 16-18 next week. In my highest mileage year I did eleven 20+ mile runs and I think it was probably too many for me.

Easy run tonight, planned 6m turned into 8m @ 7:19. Nearly sacked it with initial grim pain in hip/groin but that went off. Going at average 7:40ish, until sensed another runner pacing across the road. Gave a friendly nod, then we both ran faster!
06/01/2013 at 23:18
Well i've been enjoying the mileage debate so much, and of course it's that time of year again, i thought I would de-lurk and say hello to everyone.

Preparation the annual pilgrimage to Ldn is going well for a change. After 18mths of niggles, a trip to the podiatrist and some orthotics looks to have done the trick!?

Hope to see the usual (northern) suspects at Brass Monkey and the rest of you in about 15wks!
06/01/2013 at 23:35
RM - ey up!
06/01/2013 at 23:37
CL - Hope you will be ready for our 26.2 steady run come April
07/01/2013 at 00:12

Blisters, Aaaaaargh, I really should have read the manual for my Forerunner 405CX......... It seems it also has the function to navigate back to the start of the run..... Who'd have thought it, a GPS with a built-in navigation function... I really am a dope!

The real issue was that all my usual running routes weren't long enough, so I had to adapt an existing route to lengthen it (I hate running "laps"). I'd planned it all out on WalkJogRun and was pretty confident but of course it didn't quite work out. Anyway now I've seen where I went wrong from the actual GPS data I can correct it next time and I think this route will work out.

Andy D, CL, Blisters, thanks for the tips regarding recovery/distance. That's pretty much what I was thinking too, listen to your body and all that. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't mad for even contemplating another 20M next Sunday!

'night all...

07/01/2013 at 05:59
Blisters - dont you burn about 40 cals/mile on a bike?

Interesting re the number of runs a runner uses. Alas I have two main ones: to work and from work. I try to vary these by adding bits on or taking alternative streets. However, apart from these I have no fixed runs. I usually head off in a certain direction with an idea of approx miles in mind and vary things as I go.
07/01/2013 at 08:04

ES - don't worry, you can't get lost at the VLM! Given you have now done a 20M run, I would cut it back for this week to maybe 16M then try another the following weekend. Well done for getting it done, a good confidence boost.

Dan - sounds like fun. Nice effort by you as well, you sound in decent nick.

LD - whether it was down to the increased mileage or not, that's a nice HM time to be running in January.

Nice XCing by various people, well done to CC for the county vest.

I had my county champs yesterday - came 7th, just beating my mate (the guy who won the World Duathlon) and a couple of other guys who are normally close to me. Really hilly and muddy, but I felt pretty strong, particularly on the flatter sections where I was making up ground.

Our selection for the county team is discretionary as well, so might get in, but I probably have my brother-in-law's stag do that weekend anyway.

07/01/2013 at 09:11

Jools - Congrats on a great XC result.

CC - Well done on getting a county vest

Padams - Sounds like a very good performance.

LD - Great HM time, I also wear black socks, but then again my wife says I dress like a tramp.

Blisters - sounds like an interesting last few miles on the bike.

TR - Those marathon legs will be back soon.

24 last night with some faster miles thrown in, the 5 recovery miles this morning weren't very enjoyable.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
07/01/2013 at 09:17

Dids, I often do that too: head out the door with mileage in mind and not sure of a route.  Saturday was a case in point, after parkrunning in the morning my slot for a long run this weekend opened up after lunch, so it was out for 20 miles with no real idea of what it would be other than I didn't fancy pounding tarmac the whole way.  I ended up doing 3 laps of an off-road route that used to be a race until the Epsom Downs conservators decided that a few runners once or twice a years caused more damage to their precious gallops than the dozens of horses on them every morning. 

I misjudged it unfortunately and by the time I was halfway round the last lap it was pitch black.  I'm not an off-road mountain goat at the best of times but when I can't see the ground in front it's a bit tricky, so pace was a bit pedestrian by then.  Still, all miles under the belt.

07/01/2013 at 09:56

LD - Black socks are the norm for me generally. Don't really like white ones as they get grubby very easily running off road lots. I have a collection of routes from home that give me variable length runs to suit (or laps if I want something longer). I tend to vary my routes to prevent boredom setting in, but doing the same route a lot has the benefit that you can easily judge you speed/fitness i imagine.

SL - Must have been a good long run!

Padams - Well done for chalking up another good XC result 

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